NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2022

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ties an NHL scoring record while the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson sets one for defensemen, the Canucks Elias Pettersson has a five-point night, and much more from a busy night in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tied Gordie Howe for the most goals by one player with a single franchise (786) in a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Andrew Copp snapped a 1-1 in the third period and Dylan Larkin sealed the win for the Red Wings (5-3-2) while the Capitals record drops to 5-5-2.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin can take over sole possession of the single-team goals record on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. He is also 16 goals away from overtaking Howe’s 801 career goals for second place on the all-time NHL list. Prior to last night’s game, Ovechkin met with Gordie’s son Mark Howe for the first time. Mark wished the Capitals superstar the best in his pursuit to become the league’s all-time leading scorer.

The San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson became the fastest defenseman in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to reach 10 goals in a season (13 games) but his club fell 4-3 to the Florida Panthers. Karlsson finished the night with three points for the Sharks as they fell to 3-8-2. Sam Reinhart scored the only goal in the shootout, Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves for the win as the Panthers improved to 6-4-1.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson had a goal and four assists while rookie Andrei Kuzmenko netted his first career NHL hat trick to down the Anaheim Ducks 8-5. Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists as the Canucks improved to 3-6-2. Troy Terry had a goal and two assists for the Ducks as they dropped to 3-7-1.

The league-leading Boston Bruins (10-1-0) defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 for their seventh straight win. David Pastrnak scored to extend his points streak to eight games while Hampus Lindholm, Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno each had two points. Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren left the game with an upper-body injury as his club’s record fell to 6-4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Bruins announced goaltender Jeremy Swayman and defenseman Derek Forbort are listed as week-to-week with injuries.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson made 42 saves as his club held off the Ottawa Senators 5-4. The Golden Knights improved to 10-2-0 while the Senators (4-6-0) have dropped four straight games. Mark Stone had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Senators forwards Claude Giroux and Tim Stutzle each scored twice for the Senators while Brady Tkachuk collected three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators goaltender Cam Talbot was activated off injured reserve for this game. He wasn’t expected to play in this contest but he played the final 27 minutes as Anton Forsberg got the hook after giving up five goals on 19 shots.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on shootout goals by Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho to improve their record to 7-2-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 52 shots for the Lightning (6-4-1).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Vasilevskiy stole a point for his teammates as they were dominated by the Hurricanes.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Miles Wood, Ryan Graves and Jesper Bratt lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. The Devils are 8-3-0 and have won five straight, though this one proved costly as goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood left this contest in the second period with an undisclosed injury. Connor McDavid and Tyson Barrie each had two points as the Oilers drop to 7-4-0.

The Dallas Stars boosted their record to 7-3-1 by thumping the Arizona Coyotes 7-2. Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists while Jason Robertson tallied twice for the Stars. Juuso Valimaki and Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes, who fall to 3-6-1.

An overtime goal by Kyle Connor gave the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (6-3-1). Samuel Montembeault stopped 33 shots for the Canadiens (5-5-1) while Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield each had two points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson made his season debut as he returned from a back injury. To make room for Edmundson, they placed winger Evgenii Dadonov on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Jets announced before this game that forward Morgan Barron would miss four-to-five weeks following wrist surgery.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 32 stops while Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Noah Dobson each had two points to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-2. The Islanders (7-4-0) have won five straight games while the slumping Blues (3-6-0) have lost six straight.

The Seattle Kraken got a 22-save shutout from Martin Jones and two goals from Alex Wennberg to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-0. The Kraken’s record is now 6-4-2 while the Wild fall to 5-5-1. Kraken rookie Shane Wright played a season-high 13:45 and saw some power-play time but was held scoreless.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wright’s playing time has become the focus of criticism among pundits around the league. However, the 18-year-old center said he’s on board with the Kraken’s plans for his development and remains keen to stick with the club this season.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews tallied in overtime to lift his club past the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. It was Toews’ seventh goal of the season. Arvid Soderblom kicked out 32 shots for his first NHL victory as the Blackhawks improve to 5-4-2. Blake Lizotte scored for the 6-6-1 Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews missed all of the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season due to chronic immune response syndrome and netted a career-worst 37 points in 71 games last season. The Blackhawks captain leads his club in goals and sits among the league leaders in that category.

The Nashville Predators (4-6-1) picked up just their second win in the past nine games by dousing the Calgary Flames 4-1. Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had two points while Kevin Lankinen got the win by stopping 29 shots. Blake Coleman had the only goal for the Flames (5-4-0), who’ve now lost three straight games.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s noteworthy preseason games, Flames coach praises Jonathan Huberdeau, Senators goalie Cam Talbot sidelined, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: Roman Josi scored two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over SC Bern in the NHL Global Series Challenge in Switzerland on Monday.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers rookie Dylan Holloway collected a hat trick to lead his club over the Vancouver Canucks 7-2. Warren Foegele tallied twice and Zach Hyman had a three-point game.

The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-1. Martin Necas led the way with two goals and two assists while Derick Brassard and Brent Burns each collected three points. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce left the game with a lower-body injury.

William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot each scored two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs romped to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek kicked out 24 shots to shut out the Boston Bruins 1-0. Tomas Tatar tallied the only goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Casey DeSmith picked up the win with a 36-save performance.

Colorado Avalanche winger Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Avs goalie Pavel Francouz made 38 stops.

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Calgary Flames downed the Seattle Kraken 4-1.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had high praise for Jonathan Huberdeau. He called the 29-year-old left winger “probably the best passer that this team has had in maybe ever.” Sutter compared his playmaking to that of Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard. Huberdeau was acquired from the Florida Panthers in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That also seemed like a bit of a shot against Johnny Gaudreau, who departed the Flames in July for the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent. Gaudreau sits fifth on the Flames’ all-time assist list with 399.

Speaking of the Flames, they claimed forward Radim Zohorna off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators goaltending depth suffered a blow as Cam Talbot will be sidelined five-to-seven weeks with a suspected broken rib. The 35-year-old netminder suffered the injury during a recent practice. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was supposed to share the goaltending duties with Anton Forsberg for this season. Hellberg has just five games of NHL experience since 2013-14.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets released winger James Neal from his professional tryout contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 35-year-old Neal has 269 goals and 559 points in 869 career NHL games. However, he saw limited playing time over the past two seasons and missed 15 games in 2021-22 with an upper-body injury. This could be the end of his NHL career if no other club takes an interest in him.

GOPHNX.COM: Nick Schmaltz is among three Arizona Coyotes players listed as day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Speaking of the Coyotes, ARIZONA SPORTS reports they’ve hired Kurtis Foster and Jeff Shantz as player development coaches.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s preseason game against the Avalanche.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken signed winger Daniel Sprong to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

ESPN.COM: The NHL is debuting digitally enhance dasherboards (DEDs) this season. It is a digital replacement of camera-visible arena dasherboard ads within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. It will allow broadcasts to erase ads on all boards visible to TV cameras and replace them with their own advertisements.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is part of the NHL’s push to expand its revenue streams. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the potential revenue growth from DEDs will be in the tens of millions and could reach hundreds of millions over time.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are donating all proceeds from ticket sales to their Thursday preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ongoing Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced they’re establishing a Hall of Fame to honor and pay tribute to the legends of the franchise. Eight former players – Al MacInnis, Bob Gassoff, Bob Plager, Barclay Plager, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko and Chris Pronger – will be automatically inducted.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Several years after Hockey Canada drew on player registration fees to set up a fund to cover sexual assault claims and other lawsuits, it channeled a significant portion of those fees into a second multi-million dollar fund for similar purposes. Hockey Canada did not disclose this fund during testimony before a Parliamentary committee this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How much longer will this Hockey Canada shit show roll on before its’ leadership is finally brought to account? How much more toxic does the culture have to get? How many more people have to be hurt? How much more money must be poured into secret accounts to cover the legal costs of lawsuits? How much more damage must be done to an organization supposedly dedicated to growing the game of hockey in Canada? How much more trust must be eroded? What more does it take?










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2022

Johnny Gaudreau heads to the free-agent market, Evgeni Malkin re-signs with the Penguins, Evander Kane stays with the Oilers, Patrice Bergeron to return with the Bruins, the Wild trade Cam Talbot to the Senators, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Johnny Gaudreau has played his final game with the Flames. He reportedly rejected an offer worth over $10 million annually on an eight-year deal. Flames general manager Brad Treliving indicated the 28-year-old winger’s decision was based on family reasons and not money.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a disappointing outcome for the Flames. Gaudreau’s decision could also affect the club’s efforts to re-sign restricted winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term deal. Gaudreau is now the top player available in the unrestricted free-agent market when it opens at noon ET today. He’s been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Evgeni Malkin has agreed to a four-year, $24.4 million contract with the Penguins. The annual average value is $6.1 million and comes with a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Malkin was reportedly planning to test the market due to his frustration over negotiations with the Penguins. It appears his desire to stick with the only NHL team he’s ever played for led to his change of heart. The cap hit is identical to teammate Kris Letang’s but for two years less than Letang’s contract.

Speaking of the Penguins, they signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $825K.

SPORTSNET: Evander Kane is staying with the Edmonton Oilers after agreeing to a four-year, $20.5 million contract. The annual average value is $5.125 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers agreed to let Kane’s agent speak to other clubs but it appears whatever those teams were offering didn’t measure up to this deal. The 30-year-old winger had terrific chemistry with Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid last season. It’s a good bargain for the Oilers if Kane and McDavid continue playing well together.

Meanwhile, Kane is still waiting for his grievance to be heard over his contract termination last January by the San Jose Sharks. There’s no indication he and the Sharks are going to work out a settlement before then.

RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports Patrice Bergeron will be returning with the Boston Bruins. Details of the agreement are expected to be revealed later today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was concern among Bruins followers that Bergeron would retire, leaving the club without an established first-line center. It’ll be interesting to see what this new contract looks like.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have acquired goaltender Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for backup goalie Filip Gustavsson. Talbot, 35, has a year remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was reportedly unhappy over the Wild bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury on a two-year contract. Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he respected the veteran netminder but didn’t want this situation to become a distraction.

In the short term, Talbot should provide a much-needed boost to the Senators’ goaltending. Gustavsson, meanwhile, will serve in a backup role to Fleury.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, they placed defenseman Michael Del Zotto on unconditional waivers yesterday for the purpose of buying out his contract. Del Zotto joined Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, San Jose Sharks forward Rudolfs Balcers and New Jersey Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen on the contract buyout list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindblom’s buyout isn’t going down well with Flyers followers. The 25-year-old winger became a fan favorite after overcoming a rare bone cancer in 2020. The move is seen as GM Chuck Fletcher’s attempt to clear cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent such as Johnny Gaudreau.

THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat intends to test the market today. Speaking of the Lightning, TSN reports they’ve hired former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill as an assistant coach.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Alexander Edler to a one-year contract worth $750K.

WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres are bringing back goaltender Malcolm Subban on a one-year, $850K contract.

NHL.COM: The Kraken re-signed forward Alexander True on a one-year, two-way contract.

TSN: Scotty Bowman is stepping down as senior hockey operations advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks.

NHL.COM: Duncan Keith officially announced his retirement yesterday as an NHL player after 17 seasons with the Blackhawks and Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I summarize the future Hall-of-Famer’s career on Saturday when news first broke of his impending retirement. Best wishes to Keith and his family in their future endeavors.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 9, 2022

The goalie market is heating up with free agency approaching plus updates on J.T. Miller, Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Petry in today’s NHL rumor mill.

GOALIE MARKET HEATING UP

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas intends to meet with Jack Campbell in the hope of negotiating a new contract with the goaltender before free agency begins on July 13. Dubas also did due diligence on the Ottawa Senators’ Matt Murray and talked with other GMs on possible options if Campbell decides to test the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs aren’t the only club looking at Murray. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes are studying that option.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reported the Leafs aren’t the only club searching for goaltenders. Multiple clubs will be bidding for Campbell and Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Meanwhile, Murray, Montreal’s Jake Allen and Anaheim’s John Gibson have surfaced in the trade market.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger believes it’ll take a lot to pry Allen away from the Canadiens given the uncertainty over Carey Price’s future as he attempts to recover from last summer’s knee surgery. Gibson recently denied rumors he wanted out of Anaheim. With a $6.4 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list, he won’t be an easy acquisition.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin sought to downplay reports claiming Cam Talbot was upset over the Wild’s signing Marc-Andre Fleury to a two-year contract.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports Talbot’s agent met with Guerin on Friday, telling The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun that the Wild GM had a lot to think about. Asked about those remarks, Guerin bluntly said the agent could say “whatever the hell he wants.” He went on to point out Talbot’s under contract for 2022-23, he really likes him and the team is set now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo cited a source close to Talbot saying he doesn’t want out of Minnesota but he was hurt by not seeing much playing time in the 2022 postseason. He also indicated Talbot seeks a raise on a contract extension.

Guerin stated he has no intention of trading Talbot. However, that won’t keep his name out of the rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Pierre LeBrun, he believes Kuemper could be a fit with the Washington Capitals. That could leave the Leafs and Edmonton Oilers battling over Campbell in the free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Signing Kuemper will be expensive. Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber cited TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting the netminder’s seeking a deal similar to Seattle’s Philipp Grubauer ($5.9 million AAV for six seasons).

The Leafs are in a tighter spot cap-wise than the Oilers, who freed up plenty of cap room after trading Zack Kassian to Arizona on Thursday followed by Duncan Keith announcing his retirement. If Kuemper signs with Washington, the Oilers could pursue Campbell if he goes to market on Wednesday, leaving the Leafs scrambling to find at least a suitable starting goalie via the trade market.

LATEST ON MILLER, MALKIN AND PETRY

TSN: Darren Dreger reports there remains tremendous interest in J.T. Miller but that failed to materialize into a deal that suited the Vancouver Canucks. Their intent now is to wait and see if teams that fail to address their need for a top-six two-way forward in the upcoming free-agent market will circle back to Miller. If not, the Canucks are happy to have him back for the final season of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Rangers could be one of those clubs. They’re believed in the market for a second-line center with Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp heading to market on Wednesday.

Chris Johnston reported Evgeni Malkin might be staying with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He believes it comes down to contract term, suggesting a four-year deal worth $7 million annually might get it done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ron Hextall remains hopeful of getting Malkin signed, saying they’ll continue chipping away at it.

Darren Dreger reports there’s still some interest in the trade market in Jeff Petry. However, there wasn’t enough for the Montreal Canadiens to trade the 34-year-old defenseman during the draft week.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL executive suggesting a Petry trade could take place within the next two weeks. He pointed out that the blueliner has been linked to the Dalla Stars. Murphy also said sources confirm that the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes had some interest in Petry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens hope to shed Petry’s $6.25 million annual average value their best opportunity is between now and the start of free agency on July 13. After that, most teams will have used up much of their cap space, leaving fewer potential trade partners.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 17, 2022

Will the Wild re-sign winger Kevin Fiala and who will be their starting goalie next season? What’s next for the Golden Knights? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE LATEST ON THE WILD

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani listed Kevin Fiala’s contract situation and sorting out the starting goaltender position among the five things he believes Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin needs to address this summer. He also expects late-season acquisition Jacob Middleton will be re-signed but the restricted free agent defenseman will require a big raise.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo also considers Fiala’s contract status and choosing between goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot to be among Guerin’s offseason priorities. The 25-year-old Fiala is due for a big raise following his 85-point season but his poor performance against the St. Louis Blues in the first round could affect his negotiations with the Wild GM.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

The Wild’s limited salary-cap space also complicates Fiala’s contract negotiations. If Guerin decides to trade him, Russo noted the Ottawa Senators have long had an interest in the winger while the New Jersey Devils are seeking an impact forward.

Fleury, meanwhile, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Russo pointed out Guerin has a long history with the goaltender going back to 2009 when they were teammates on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could bring back the Fleury-Talbot tandem for another season or trade Talbot and bring in a more affordable backup.

If promising Calen Addison is ready to play next season, Russo suggested they could shop a defenseman like Matt Dumba or Dmitry Kulikov. Forward Tyson Jost could also be a trade candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over the Wild’s offseason plans is the salary-cap crunch they’ll face over the next three seasons because of last summer’s buyout of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. NBC Sports’ James O’Brien has the breakdown of its effect on their cap payroll. It could also force them to part ways with Fiala, Talbot or Dumba.

Following his playoff struggles, Fiala isn’t sure what the future holds. “There’s no other answer other than, ‘We’ll see’,” he said. “I don’t know.” Guerin could reach an agreement with the winger’s camp on a new contract, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he trades him this summer.

As for the goaltenders, Russo recently suggested Guerin must repair the relationship with Talbot after he was benched for all but one playoff game or trade him this summer. Following the Wild’s elimination by the Blues, Mizutani reported Talbot isn’t holding a grudge and wants to stick with the team. He also noted Fleury’s interest in re-signing with the Wild if the price is right.

That limited cap room for next season means someone – Fiala, Fleury, Talbot or Dumba – won’t be returning with the Wild. It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer for the Wild.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS?

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Prior to the Golden Knights’ sacking head coach Pete DeBoer, Owen Krepps examined some of the important questions facing the club in the offseason.

He wondered who the starting goaltender will be after Robin Lehner’s inconsistent, injury-riddled performance this season. Late-season call-up Logan Thompson’s solid play raised eyebrows, leading Krepps to wonder if Thompson will back up Leher next season or take over as the starter with Laurent Brossoit or someone else in the backup role.

Krepps also wondered how Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon will free up much-needed salary-cap space for next season. He could attempt to trade Evgenii Dadonov again, or try to peddle Lehner, Alec Martinez or William Karlsson. They also risk losing long-time Golden Knight winger Reilly Smith to unrestricted free agency in July.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger suggested Max Pacioretty could also become a salary-cap casualty. He remains the Golden Knights’ best pure scorer and his trade value could be done following an injury-plagued season. Nevertheless, they’ve shown they’re not shy about unloading expensive contracts for little-to-no value in return, and shedding his $7 million cap hit would free up a lot of room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner, Pacioretty, Karlsson, Dadonov and Martinez each earn $5 million or more per season. Pacioretty, Karlsson and Dadonov each have 10-team no-trade lists, Martinez has a 12-team no-trade list and Lehner has an eight-team no-trade list. It’s going to take considerable skill on McCrimmon’s part to find a suitable trade partner for one of them given the flattened salary cap for next season and the high number of teams with cap issues of their own.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2022

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk passes away, the Hurricanes take over first place in the Eastern Conference, Vladimir Tarasenko reaches a scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SENATORS OWNER EUGENE MELNYK DEAD AT 62

OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk passed away late Monday following a long illness. His enduring legacy was buying the Senators in 2003 and maintaining the franchise in Ottawa. In 2015, Melnyk underwent a life-saving liver transplant. With his help, the Senators Community Foundation invested over $100 million in local charities and community programs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Melnyk’s family and the Senators’ organization. The hockey world is mourning his passing, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Senators captain Brady Tkachuk among the first to pay tribute.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk dies at age 62 (NHL.com).

The Senators were among the NHL’s top teams during Melnyk’s early years of ownership, reaching the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. After exceeding expectations to reach the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, the club spent the following years rebuilding its roster.

Melnyk often faced criticism from Senators fans over the club’s direction, especially in recent years. He received his share of the blame for the departures of popular stars such as Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson. The outspoken Senators owner also threatened to move the club several years ago if the club’s attendance didn’t improve.

Nevertheless, the Senators would’ve probably relocated to an American city in 2003 if Melnyk hadn’t stepped in to purchase the franchise. It’ll be up to his successor and the club’s current management to ensure the current rebuilding program achieves his dream of turning the Senators into a Stanley Cup contender.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals 6-1 to take over first place in the Eastern Conference with 95 points, one ahead of the Florida Panthers. Martin Necas scored two goals and added an assist while Frederik Andersen made 25 saves for the win. The Capitals (84 points) remain three points behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes weren’t happy over a hit on forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi by Capitals center Lars Eller late in the game. Kotkaniemi’s left leg appeared to be injured. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour didn’t know the extent of the injury following the game but commented it didn’t look good. No word if Eller will face supplemental discipline.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko reached his 500th career point in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Tarasenko scored twice and chipped in an assist while Ville Husso turned in a 35-save performance. With 81 points, the Blues sit in third place in the Central Division. The Canucks (73 points) remain three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: David Perron also reached a Blues milestone, joining Brett Hull and Scott Young as the third player in franchise history to score at least 12 goals in a calendar month.

The Edmonton Oilers bounced back from a 9-5 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday by thumping the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Ryan McLeod tallied twice and picked up an assist, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist and Mikko Koskinen got the win by kicking out 31 shots. The Oilers sit in third place in the Pacific Division, two points back of the second-place Los Angeles Kings.

Speaking of the Kings, they fell 6-1 to the Seattle Kraken. Chris Driedger stopped 36 Kings shots while teammate Vince Dunn collected two assists. It was the 1,000th career NHL game for Kings coach Todd McLellan, who became the seventh active coach to reach that milestone.

The Buffalo Sabres rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 with Tage Thompson netting the game-winner in the final seconds of the third period. Sabres winger Victor Olofsson scored twice and picked up an assist.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot, Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 27, 2022.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld a one-game suspension to Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter for a slashing infraction on March 18.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered from a high hit by the Minnesota Wild’s Marcus Foligno during the Jackets’ 3-2 loss to the Wild on Saturday.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture suffered a bruised lung when he was struck by a shot by teammate Brent Burns during last Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. He missed Saturday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks but will return to the lineup on Wednesday to face the Arizona Coyotes.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Over a week after being traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Colorado Avalanche, Artturi Lehkonen’s immigration paperwork has been processed and he can finally join his new teammates.